Orchestration is a powerful tool found in the Message section of Accelerator that creates a visual representation of the messages and campaigns used to contact an audience.
This document will show the end-to-end process of creating, managing, and activating a successful Orchestration.
Table of Contents
- Message must be activated within Accelerator to have access to Orchestrations
- Knowledge of Audiences
- Knowledge of Templates
- Knowledge of Campaigns
Creating an Orchestration
Orchestration is found in the Delivery drop-down of the Message category of Accelerator. Similar to campaigns, Orchestrations are managed in a file system.
Navigate to the correct folder and create a new Orchestration.
Give the Orchestration a name and description.
Once created, an Audience must be selected.
A new Orchestration begins with an Audience. Each Orchestration can access only one Audience. The configuration of the Audience is important as the accessible fields and Launch Variables are used throughout the logic of the Orchestration.
|NOTE: For more information on Audiences, refer to Creating and Editing Audiences|
As an Orchestration is developed, Launch Variables play an important role in identifying which records to contact.
Adding an Audience will then prompt the user to define the Days After field, also referred to as an Offset variable. This field must be populated with a Launch Variable from the audience.
The Days After field provides information to the Orchestration to target records based on an amount of time.
For example, the Signup Date Launch Variable stores the day a customer signs up for a service. An Orchestration may send a welcome email to that customer the following day. Several days later, additional emails/push notifications may be sent. In order to establish such a timeline, the Signup Date Launch Variable must be declared and maintained.
|NOTE: Once an Audience and an offset Launch Variable are selected for an Orchestration, they cannot be changed.|
Selecting these values opens the primary Orchestration tool. This is where steps and decisions are created, establishing the logic and timeline that a customer is contacted.
Steps and Campaigns
Selecting the Plus (+) symbol under the audience node will display two icons.
The panel icon creates a new Step. A Step in an Orchestration is a simple tool to create a campaign that will be used to contact a customer.
The interface that opens when creating a new Step requires a few fields.
The Step Name is the name assigned to the campaign that the Step is creating.
The Template is the display that the customer will see.
The Sending Channel determines the method of contact.
The contact types available in the Sending Channel drop-down are determined by the fields selected from your database by the Audience referenced in the Orchestration. The following are the required fields for different sending channels:
- An Audience must have an “EmailAddress” column in order to use an email sending channel.
- An Audience must have a “PushAddress” and “PushService” column in order to use a push sending channel.
- An Audience must have a “ChannelPreference” column in order to use the “recipient preference” option. This sending channel will check the “ChannelPreference” column for each customer and use the appropriate sending channel found in this column.
The Days After Signup Date field may show different text depending on the Offset Variable selected in the creation of the Orchestration. For example, if the Offset Variable selected was the Join Date Launch Variable, then the text displayed would be Days After Join Date.
Each step requires a value in the Days After Signup Date field. This is the way to establish a timeline of contact for customers. A value of 0 in this field will send an email the same day as the Signup Date for a customer, provided the Orchestration is active.
This is the most basic form of a Step. At this point, the Step can be saved.
Saving a step creates a campaign identified by the name defined in the Step Name field. This Campaign will use the Template and sending channel defined by the Step. The Audience of the Orchestration will be used with the Campaign.
|Advanced Settings for a Campaign cannot be defined by using the Orchestration interface. If a campaign requires Advanced Settings, it must be done through the standard Campaign configurations under Message → Delivery → Marketing|
Launch Variables and Conditions in Steps
An Audience may contain additional Launch Variables. These are controllable values that can be manipulated by Accelerator. Launch Variables are created and managed through the Message → Data Management → Audience screen.
In Orchestrations, Launch Variables are used to set conditions in Steps and Decisions. For example, if this Step of the Orchestration should only be sent to customers in Atlanta, then the “City” Launch Variable can be populated with that value. Now, only records that meet this condition will receive this Step’s contact.
Each Launch Variable that is defined for this Step is an AND statement. All conditions entered into the Launch Variables must be evaluated as true for the customer to receive the contact. Familiarity with the Launch Variables of the audience is important to configure the Orchestration correctly.
If the Save Step button is not selectable, then required fields (marked by a red asterisk) are missing from the Step and must be completed.
Steps can be easily edited. Selecting the Edit label at the top left of a Step opens the Step Interface. Modify the Step and close the interface to make changes.
Before saving changes to an Orchestration, removing a newly created Step can be done with one click. Select the red trash icon in the bottom right of the Step.
After saving changes to the Orchestration, the red trash icon will not show up when selecting Steps.
In order to delete a saved Step, the Campaign must be removed from the Marketing section of Accelerator. When saving a Step, a Campaign is created by the Orchestration. This Campaign must be removed before the Step can be deleted from the Orchestration.
Navigate to Message → Delivery → Marketing and navigate through the file system of Campaigns to find the Orchestration. Campaigns created by Orchestrations can be identified by the Orchestration icon next to the Campaign name.
Double-click an item to open the Campaign. From here, the Campaign can be tested, modified, archived, or deleted.
After deleting the Campaign from this screen, the associated Step from the Orchestration can now be deleted by clicking the red trash icon.
Important Notes on Steps
An Orchestration will consist of multiple Steps. It is important to remember that an Orchestration presents the journey of a customer as a visual flowchart, yet the order of the Steps in the flowchart does not control the order the Steps will execute. The deciding factor for the order of Steps is the Offset Variable determined at the creation of the Orchestration. In the above examples, this Offset Variable is the Signup Date.
Clicking on the Plus (+) icon and selecting the Decision icon will bring up a different interface. A Decision in an Orchestration is a method of creating multiple steps at the same level of the Orchestration flowchart. Visually, the Decision is a split in the journey of the customer.
The Decision must be given a name and then the Steps may be configured. The Steps in a decision are configured in the same method as described above. If more than two Steps are required in the Decision, the Plus (+) icon on the right side of the interface may be selected in order to add additional Steps.
If an additional Step must be removed, the red trash icon below the Step will remove that Step from the Decision.
If the Save Decision and Steps button is not selectable, then required fields (marked by a red asterisk) must be completed.
Important Notes on Decisions
It is possible for a customer to receive contacts from multiple Decision Steps. If the desired result is for the customer to receive contact from only one step of a Decision, then Launch Variables must be configured carefully to identify the correct customers.
Throughout the process of creating an Orchestration, it is recommended that the Orchestration be saved often. The Save Orchestration button is found in the top right corner of the screen.
Once an Orchestration is complete, it must be Activated. Once Activated, the Orchestration is set to process data at a specific time each day[c]. The time that the Orchestration runs is defined by the User upon Activation.
Select the Activate button in the top right.
A new interface will open to set a recurring time for the Orchestration to run.
Editing Active Orchestrations
While an Orchestration is Active, it cannot be edited. There are two ways to tell if an Orchestration is active.
- A note is present at the top of the screen saying, “This orchestration is currently active and steps are uneditable. Deactivate to edit steps.”
- Additionally, the green Activate button is now red and displays “Deactivate”.
To edit Steps, deactivate the Orchestration. During editing, the Orchestration will not process data. The Orchestration can be saved and activated after editing is complete.